[Rivers State High Court under serious explosiion]

[Rivers State High Court under serious explosiion]

- in Naija News
163

An explosion rocked the Rivers State High Court, Ahoda, premises, in the
early hours of yesterday, though no casualty was recorded in the blast.
The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, building was partially affected in
the incident.

The court was to have heard the application by the factional Speaker of
Rivers State House of Assembly, Evans Bipi, for the vacation of an
interim order granted by the court, restraining him from parading
himself as Speaker.
A second blast, was, averted, following the intervention of the bomb
squad of the Police, which isolated the second device, concealed in a
black cellophane bag.
Meanwhile, a fire incident at another River State High Court, Okehi,
yesterday, affected the judge’s office. Some documents and furniture
were also destroyed in the fire. When contacted on the incident, the
state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ahmad Muhammad, said he was
aware of the fire, adding that no life was lost.  He said that the
Police was investigating the incident.
Ahoada blast
On the Ahoda incident, Muhammad said: “We received a report that an
object suspected to be explosive was sighted at the premises of the
state High Court, Ahoada. Our anti- bomb squad was dispatched to make it
safe. One unexploded improvised explosive device, IED, was recovered
and rendered safe while traces of an exploded IED were identified.
“At the end of the operation, it was established that two IEDs were
thrown into the premises from outside. The two were initiated, but one
went off while the other failed to go off due to technical error. The
exploded IED caused a minor damage to court building. Neither death nor
injury was recorded. Considering the strength of the materials used in
making the devices, they were very weak and couldn’t have caused severe
harm.
“Investigation into the incident has commenced with a view to apprehending the perpetrators.” he added.
Rep condemns Okehi fire incident
Meantime, the member representing Etche Omuma constituency in the House
of Representatives, Mr. Ogbona Nwuke,  has condemned the fire incident
at the state High Court, Okehi, Etche Local Government Area of the
state, saying that it was the handiwork of enemies of democracy.
“My immediate reaction was that enemies of democracy are at work. Those
who do not want to respect the rights of others, those who do not
believe in the rule of law and those who have no regard for people’s
lives are at work,” he said.
He called on security agencies to fish out those behind the act.
“The law enforcement agencies should apprehend these faceless persons,
who for political reasons, think that the best thing to do is to turn
Rivers State into an environment of terror.  This is the worst thing
that should happen in this country.
“The law enforcement agents should protect the interest of the common man, which the judicial process represents,” he said.
Some staff of the court, who spoke to Vanguard on the explosion at
Ahoada, said it occurred before they resumed for the day’s work.
Residents, who live close to the premises of the court, said the night
before, they heard an explosion at the canteen in the court premises
operated by the Ahoada Branch of the NBA.
Media aide to Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Area, Kassidy
Ikegbidi, Blessed Oyagiri, who spoke to Vanguard on the incident, said
it was discovered this morning (yesterday) that the canteen of the
Ahoada Branch of the NBA at the state High Court, Ahoda, was destroyed.
“We contacted the police, who drafted an anti-bomb unit and confirmed
that dynamite was employed in the blast. The state High Court itself was
not affected. I suspect those who carried out the blast were not
property briefed on the real target by the masterminds, but the damage
was enough to shut the court as police continued investigation,” Oyagiri
said.
The council boss condemned the incident and warned the Peoples
Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State against playing politics with the
judiciary.
Ikegbidi, who described the incident as barbaric and uncivilized, said:
“The Judiciary is not the property of  PDP, but a property of all
Nigerians. It is very wrong for any right thinking individual or group
to attack the judiciary, which is the last hope of the common man in the
name of politics.”
It was gathered from workers in the court premises that if the second
explosive had gone off,  it would have had more devastating effect on
vehicles and probably claimed lives because it was dropped at the car
park, where most people would have left their vehicles.
The court, meanwhile, could not sit, yesterday, because of the incident.
The workers said there was still tension in the air even after the
police had scanned the whole area.
However, All Progressives Congress, APC, and  Peoples Democratic Party,
PDP in the state, have engaged in a war of words over the incident.
Interim Chairman of APC, Mr Davies Ikanya, in a statement, said that
those behind the act were allegedly uncomfortable with the recent ruling
of  Justice Charles Wali of the  state High Court ordering Bipi to stop
parading himself as Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly.
He said: “It is very unfortunate and sad to note that the state High
Court in Ahoada, was bombed this morning (yesterday) by agents of
undemocratic elements. Those that perpetrated this act may not be far
from those who are not comfortable with the ruling by Justice Wali, of
December 16, 2013 barring Bipi, leader of the G6 rebel members of the
Rivers State House of Assembly, from parading himself as Speaker of the
Assembly.”
On its part, PDP, in its statement, blamed those allegedly against the
High Court sitting to reverse its decision on  Bipi as being behind the
explosion.
State Chairman of the party, Mr Felix Obuah, said those behind the
explosion at the state High Court, Ahoada, also wanted to create a
picture of an insecure Rivers State.
“The case that temporarily restrained  Bipi from parading himself as
Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, was to come up today
(yesterday) at the court.  Our team of lawyers made up of over 10 Senior
Advocates of Nigeria from Abuja and Lagos arrived the state high court,
Ahoda, this morning (yesterday) to argue for the vacation of the
interim order, and saw the senseless and barbaric destruction of the
court.
“The PDP makes bold to suspect that the reported bombing was carried out
by agents of Rivers State Government to prevent the court from sitting,
so that the court would not be able to vacate the interim order made by
Justice Wali.”

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